PORTLAND, OR – On the evening of February 10th, protesters in Portland were said to have focused their ire against the Portland Police Association building – a building that has been targeted by protesters and rioters numerous times over the past several months.
Yesterday, antifa black bloc tried to break down the door of the @PortlandPolice union building in the middle of the day. Police made no arrests. This is the same building #antifa set fire to multiple times at riots last year. https://t.co/w5ZWZWJqVz
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) February 11, 2021
The protest in question formed shortly after 5:00 p.m. that evening, which eventually led to some of the protesters attempting to break down the door of the Portland Police Association building.
It happened during union contract negotiations.
According to a Twitter post by Portland Police, they began monitoring the situation as it was developing:
“A protest has developed near North Lombard Street and North Campbell Avenue, where participants have tried to break down the door the Portland Police Association. We are monitoring the situation.”
A protest has developed near North Lombard Street and North Campbell Avenue, where participants have tried to break down the door the Portland Police Association. We are monitoring the situation.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) February 10, 2021
Roughly two minutes after making the aforementioned announcement on Twitter, the Portland Police followed that up with details of the directions they broadcasting over loudspeaker to protesters at the scene:
“To those participating in the protest, this direction is being given over loudspeaker: stay on the sidewalk, do not try to break into the building or violate any other laws. If you do you’re subject to arrest and/or use of force including less lethal weapons.”
While there was the purported attempted break-in of the police union building, the Portland Police announced at roughly two hours after the protest had formed that the protesters left the area and that no arrests were made:
“All protesters have left the neighborhood. There was some vandalism to the building, but no arrests were made, no force was used, and no one was injured. About 15 officers, 3 sergeants, and 1 lieutenant were pulled from patrol duties to respond to the event.”
All protesters have left the neighborhood. There was some vandalism to the building, but no arrests were made, no force was used, and no one was injured. About 15 officers, 3 sergeants, and 1 lieutenant were pulled from patrol duties to respond to the event.
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) February 11, 2021
What’s concerning in all this is actually the lack of any arrests from this incident if there were indeed attempts to break into the Portland Police Association building.
Because the potential message this sends is that certain crimes are essentially acceptable so long as they occur alongside or form from within a protest.
As mentioned earlier, protesters and rioters in Portland have set their sights on the police union building several times during these sorts of demonstrations that have frequently turned riotous and violent.
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Back in December, we at Law Enforcement Today reported on how the Portland Police Association building played host to an erected guillotine placed atop the building – along with signage demanding the abolishment of the police union.
Here’s that previous report.
PORTLAND, OR – We have heard chants and threats by members of Black Lives Matter and Antifa about defunding or abolishing the police, especially in Portland, Oregon.
We’ve also heard chants like, “What do we want? Dead Pigs! When do we want it? Now!”
Or how about, “Pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon!”
Anti-police groups in Portland on Tuesday made their wishes — demands, rather — even more obvious by hoisting a guillotine to the top of the Portland Police Association building at 1868 N. Lombard St., north of downtown.
The building for months has been a focal point for demonstrators. Since June, the stand alone has been the target of vandals, who have broken windows, sprayed graffiti and damaged it otherwise.
On the night of Aug. 25, a riot was declared after protestors marched to the building while chanting “burn it down” and attempted to do just that. Police reported that at least two fires were set on and around the structure.
At least 25 people were arrested during the incident. The conservative news site Hotair reported:
“The group, roughly 300 people, began a march from Arbor Lodge Park at North Delaware Avenue and North Bryant Street about 9:30 p.m. They walked north directly to the Portland Police Association Building in the 1800 block of North Lombard Street.
“Among other things, the crowd chanted “burn it down.” Many in the crowd carried shields, wore helmets, gas masks, and body armor.
“Within minutes of the crowd arriving, people were seen going to the back of the building. Power to the building was cut and flames were seen shooting up the side of the building.
“The PPA office is located on the edge of a residential area with wood-frame houses. Dry summer weather exacerbated the fire danger. Due to the extreme life safety concerns, the incident commander determined that it was a riot.
“The urgency to extinguish the fire was extreme. Someone in the crowd appeared to pour some kind of accelerant on it as the fire exploded rapidly.”
This was the arson fire that prompted the riot declaration. It was set within minutes of the march reaching the @PPAVigil offices. The severity of the damage is unclear. This gathering remains a riot. Disperse immediately. pic.twitter.com/pIMC0b8WTS
— Portland Police (@PortlandPolice) August 25, 2020
With the riot declared, police pushed the crowd away from the building. But as soon as the police retreated, the mob returned and tried again:
“Almost immediately people began to return. Chain link fencing was pulled into roadway to block traffic. Another fire was lit in the middle of the street.
“At 11:30 p.m., some individuals lit two fires on the north side of the building, including the awning over the main entrance…
“As officers tried to disengage again, people with “press” printed on their outer clothing were seen throwing rocks at them. A rock struck the windshield of their transport vehicle, cracking the glass.”
— Justin Yau (@PDocumentarians) August 25, 2020
On the night of Oct. 20, Portland police reported that at least 75 protesters marched toward the PPA office with “support vehicles” in tow, before setting fire to a nearby billboard.
The billboard reportedly read, “WAKE UP AMERICA!” and “THANK YOU PORTLAND POLICE BUREAU,” before it was engulfed in flames, according to Sergio Olmos, a reporter with Oregon Public Broadcasting.
Portland protest day 127 pic.twitter.com/QVTTsPRF6M
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) October 20, 2020
Back to the recent activity at the building, quite a lot of information may be gleaned from a Twitter group called the “45th parallel absurdist brigade,” which claims to be a “press collective in PDX.”
The group posted about Tuesday’s incident:
“Marking ~200 days since the start of the #PortlandProtests against racist policing, last night persons unknown affixed a guillotine to the roof of the Portland Police Association building in N. Portland, and hung a banner marked with the reading ‘Abolish PPA – BLM – Night 200’”
Another message told of the history of the Portland Police Association, but without verifying or clarifying the statements:
“The PPA itself is the oldest extant police union, & established the legal precedent of Qualified Immunity, which prevents officers from being held liable for killings on duty. Their contract was the first to mandate that officers not be interrogated for 48 hours after a shooting.”
The PPA itself is the oldest extant police union, & established the legal precedent of Qualified Immunity, which prevents officers from being held liable for killings on duty. Their contract was the first to mandate that officers not be interrogated for 48 hours after a shooting. pic.twitter.com/9MZ6AMsZPD
— 45th parallel absurdist brigade (@45thabsurdist) December 15, 2020
One of the group’s messages went on to explain the history of Antifa’s “three arrows” symbol:
“The three arrows emblem on the banner is an antifascist symbol originating w/ street militants who fought the rise of the Nazi party in 1930s Germany. The first president of the PPA, Otto Meiners, was active in the German American Bund until it was banned at the outbreak of WW2.”
The three arrows emblem on the banner is an antifascist symbol originating w/ street militants who fought the rise of the Nazi party in 1930s Germany. The first president of the PPA, Otto Meiners, was active in the German American Bund until it was banned at the outbreak of WW2. pic.twitter.com/ZDxNaXuvlN
— 45th parallel absurdist brigade (@45thabsurdist) December 15, 2020
Again, there is no verification or clarification for these claims by the “45th parallel absurdist brigade.”
The PPA building is a stark, boarded-up survivor of mindless violence, standing alone against countless physical assaults in an angry city.